I was away for a while, but
I tried to imagine wanting to stay in this place. It truly was beautiful. The pain that had laced my body was gone. Duty somehow seemed to be a kindred spirit. “…heavier than worlds,” I answered. “I still have obligations.”
“Ten thousand years!” Duty whispered. “But I do not know the way.”
“I do,” Life’s End said. “I can tell you, Eclipse, though you may regret the learning of it. Alas, Duty, I will speak, but you are required by the laws of nature not to hear.”
“As always,” Duty answered.
“Tell me,” I answered. “Please?”
“You must walk north, north and up,” Life’s Ending said. “The mountains will become colder and colder, darker and darker. You will reach a place where the blackness is total, where the cold surpasses all imagination, where the pain of breathing is an agony without end. You must persevere. Finally you reach the slippery slope down, along which you will slip and slide, stopping just before you slide off the overhang. Be sure you stop, or you will fall and die. The light will come from behind you—do not look to see where it comes from, or you will surely die. Be not concerned with the Infinite Arch. Instead you must gather up your courage and jump off the overhang, though the fall will be many miles and you will be unable to fly.” I swallowed. “Thank you for answering my question, however much it may hurt me. And I’m